European supermarket Lidl could be opening in Lightfoot

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An artist's impression of the proposed Lidl that was included in meeting documents. (Courtesy James City County)
Artistic rendering of a proposed Lidl supermarket in Lightfoot. (Courtesy James City County)

Attention shoppers, there may be a new grocer in town. 

The North Carolina-based development firm Kimley Horn has made a bid to James City County to open a franchise of the European supermarket Lidl in Lightfoot.

If their proposal is approved, the store would be among the first Lidl locations in the United States. The county’s Development Review Committee will be reviewing a conceptual plan for the marketplace during a public meeting Wednesday. 

The new grocery would join the nearly two dozen supermarkets located in the Williamsburg zip code. The proposed site, 6515 Richmond Road, is less than a block from the Harris Teeter supermarket in Lightfoot Marketplace. Food Lion, Farm Fresh and Walmart, in addition to convenience stores such as 7-Eleven, are located within three miles of the proposed store. 

Lidl currently operates over 10,000 stores across 27 European countries and the company’s website states the brand been a “growing presence” in Europe over the past 40 years. In February, the company announced plans to open its first 100 stores in the United States.

“We’ve precisely designed every part of our process to deliver the highest quality products at the lowest possible price and the most efficient shopping experience possible,” stated Lidl’s website.  “Now, we’re bringing our unique vision for grocery to the US.”

Kimley Horn, the consulting firm representing Lidl, could not be reached Monday for comment on the proposal.

A site map included in meeting documents. (Courtesy James City County)
A site map included in the proposal. (Courtesy James City County)

The conceptual plan indicates the store will be constructed on land currently occupied by the Smith Memorial Baptist Church across from the Gallery Shops on Richmond Road. The proposed store will be nearly 36,000 square feet if approved.

While the parcel of land would not have to be rezoned for the construction and operation of a grocery store, Lidl would need to be awarded a Special Use Permit from the county to operate a store on the property.

The Development Review Committee will make recommendation on whether to approve such permit during their meeting Wednesday. If approved, the application would move to the county’s planning commission, which in turn makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for a final determination.

Wednesday’s meeting will begin at 4 p.m. in Building A of the James City County Government Complex, 101 Mounts Bay Road. 

The full site plan for the proposed supermarket is below: 

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